Sabrina D'Angelo is the fourth freshman in Gamecock history to start a season opener in goal
Aug. 25, 2011
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By Miquel Jacobs
Assistant Media Relations Director
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina continues its four-match season opening road trip this weekend with a visit to the Grand Canyon State to take on PAC-12 foes Arizona and Arizona State. The Gamecocks will meet the Wildcats Friday at 7 p.m. (MST) before taking on the Sun Devils in a Sunday afternoon match scheduled for 1 p.m. (MST).
The Gamecocks are coming off a 1-1-0 opening weekend in the state of North Carolina. Four different players scored in the season opening 4-0 win at East Carolina, but the team suffered its first loss of the year by a 2-0 score at then-No. 12 Duke.
Friday marks the first time that South Carolina and Arizona will meet in series history. The Wildcats are 0-2-0 this year after shutout losses on the road at San Diego State and Pepperdine. The Sunday meeting between South Carolina and Arizona State is the back end of a home-and-home series that begin with a 1-1 draw at Stone Stadium last season. The Sun Devils are 1-0-0 this year after a season opening win against Northern Arizona.
ON THE HORIZON
The Gamecocks take on Northeastern in the 2011 home opener on Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. The teams met last season in Boston with South Carolina taking a 3-0 victory. The Northeastern game is the only one scheduled for next week before the team hits the road again the following week.
Under second year head coach Lisa Oyen, Arizona enters the weekend 0-2 after losses to San Diego State and Pepperdine on the road. The Wildcats were picked 12th in the Pac-12 and return eight starters from last season's 5-13-2 campaign. The lone senior on the squad is starting goalkeeper Ashley Jett, who sports a 1.50 goals against average with 12 saves in the first two games.
SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE
Arizona State enters the weekend with a 1-0-0 record after defeating Northern Arizona by a 7-0 score in last Sunday's season opener. The Sun Devils are receiving votes in the latest NSCAA Coaches Poll. Five different players scored, including Sierra Cook and Alexandra Doller who both notched two goals in the opener. The team is led in goal by junior Alyssa Gillmore, who posted a 1.25 goals against average with 67 saves and five shutouts in 2010. The team was picked to finish 7th in the Pac-12 after a 3-5-1 conference campaign last season that saw the team advance to the NCAA First Round.
FIRST TIME OPPONENTS
South Carolina's schedule is filled with familiar faces this season with only one first-time opponent on the schedule in 2011. The Gamecocks have never played Arizona, its Aug. 26 opponent, to mark the least amount of first-time opponents in a single season. Last season, Carolina went 5-0-0 against first time opponents, defeating Louisville (3-0), Cincinnati (4-0), UCF (1-0), South Alabama (6-1) and Rutgers (1-0).
D'ANGELO JOINS RARE COMPANY
True freshman goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo earned the start in the 2011 season opener at East Carolina, marking the first time since the 2004 season that a true freshman started in goal for the Gamecocks. D'Angelo is just the fourth freshman to start the season opener in goal in program history, joining Amy Toms - who started the first match in program history in 1995 - and Laura Armstrong (2004) as true freshmen in addition to Elise Matthews (2000) who started the opener as a redshirt freshman.
In addition to this quartet, Lindsay Thorstenson (2004) also started a match as a true freshman, but she did not start the season opener.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Four different Gamecocks scored in the season opening victory against East Carolina. Kayla Grimsley, Gabrielle Gilbert, Danielle Au and Maria Petroni each scored in the game, giving the Gamecocks the most players with a goal in a game since five individuals scored against Kentucky last season (Sept. 26, 2010) in a 5-0 victory.
GRIMSLEY PICKS UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF
It took senior Kayla Grimsley 28:41 to get her first tally of the 2011 season as the MAC Hermann Trophy candidate converted a penalty kick in the season opener. Grimsley, who is 3-for-3 in career penalty kick attemps, is within range of setting the program's all-time points record of 115 that is held by Jennie Ondo (1996-99).